Charlbi Dean, Dies After Sudden, Unexpected Illness

Actress and model Charlbi Dean has died aged 32, reportedly from a sudden and unexpected illness.

The South African rising star had recently won plaudits for her starring role in the black comedy Triangle of Sadness.

The film had taken out the prestigious Palme d’Or prize at the iconic Cannes Film Festival in May.

Dean played a lead character in a film about a cruise for the super-rich that ends in disaster, which also starred Woody Harrelson.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, a representative of Dean said she died in a hospital in New York City on Monday.

Charlbi Dean

No further details about her death have been provided.

She also had roles in the superhero TV series Black Lightning and movies Don’t Sleep and Blood in the Water.

She also had an illustrious modelling career, starting her career in the profession at the age of 14.

Charlbi Dean, South African Born Actress and Model, Dies After Sudden, Unexpected Illness

The up-and-coming actress’ most lauded work is yet to be released publicly, with Dean’s final film credit in the critically acclaimed Triangle Of Sadness, which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival in May.

The dark comedy, directed by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund, was met with an eight-minute standing ovation after its premiere at the iconic festival. It is set to be released in theatres in October.

Dean’s family are yet to comment on her death.

At the time of her death, Dean was engaged to South African model, Luke Volker. The pair had been dating for four years.

Volker regularly uploaded photos of Dean to his Instagram page, and paid tribute to his fiancee on their third-year anniversary last year.

In October 2008, Dean and her then-boyfriend, fellow model Ashton Schnehage, survived a serious car crash. She was hospitalised and underwent lifesaving surgery which left her with a notable scar on her stomach. Dean damaged two vertebrae and broke her wrist, four ribs and an elbow. She also suffered a collapsed left lung.

But she bounced back following the accident and in 2010 made her acting debut in the film adaptation of Spud, a role she would reprise in the sequel Spud 2: The Madness Continues.

She went on to star in the films Don’t Sleep in 2017 and An Interview With God in 2018.


That same year, she landed the role of Syonide, a recurring character she played for two seasons of the DC Universe series Black Lightning.

“Thank for put [sic] up with [me] for three year[s]. You are much gifted. Bring great honour to family. All best for life with me and I know love you. Safe and stable. My love and you,” Volker wrote at the time.

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